Tuesday, September 27, 2011

President Obama Adopts Republican Agenda on Education; Republicans Bitterly Complain

Their View, It’s Not Right if Mr. Obama Does It

No Child Left Behind was the centerpiece of educational legislation by the Bush Administration.   It produced a strong new role in public education for the Federal government, a role that traditionally had been played by state and local governments.  Under the law public education programs had to meet federal, not state standards.

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
President Obama spoke about changes in the
No Child Left Behind law Friday during a
 ceremony at the White House.

Unable to get the Congress to reform the law (Republicans don’t do that any more), Mr. Obama used his executive authority under the law to grant waivers to many states for meeting test score goals.  The key to granting the waiver is that the states will have to implement stringent goals and develop programs for meeting those goals.

Mr. Obama invited states to reclaim the power to design their own school accountability and improvement systems, . . .“This does not mean that states will be able to lower their standards or escape accountability,” the president said. “If states want more flexibility, they’re going to have to set higher standards, more honest standards that prove they’re serious about meeting them.”

The reaction from a key Republican legislator over the President’s implementation of a key Republican legislative item was predictable

“In my judgment, he is exercising an authority and power he doesn’t have,” said Representative John Kline, Republican of Minnesota and chairman of the House education committee. “We all know the law is broken and needs to be changed. But this is part and parcel with the whole picture with this administration: they cannot get their agenda through Congress, so they’re doing it with executive orders and rewriting rules. This is executive overreach.”

raising once again the question of why anyone ever votes for these people.  Oh, and Mr. Kline, just so you know, this is not “executive over-reach”, it is called “governing”  You and your party should try it some time.

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